NEWLAND — The Newland Board of Alderman convened for its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 1, in which Town Manager Keith Hoilman gave his administrator’s report.
Hoilman stated that Gov. Roy Cooper had entered the state into Phase 2.5 and that the town will do everything it can to follow the orders as restrictions are lifted. The moratorium on evictions and energy cutoffs was lifted at the beginning of August, and as a result, Hoilman sent a letter to the residents who did not pay their bills while the moratorium was in effect.
Alderman Kenny Caraway asked Hoilman if there were many residents who were not paying their utility bills, and stated that they should be disconnected if they continued nonpayment or if they fail to respond to the letter sent. Hoilman stated that the residents were the same ones who typically do not pay. The board agreed to disconnect water service in these cases.
Additionally, Hoilman has looked into purchasing a sign with the funds allowed to the town through the CARES Act. The sign will cost between $8,000 and $10,000 and cost about $600 to install.
Newland Police Chief Byron Clawson updated the board on the department’s activity for the month of August. The department received a high call volume over the month, with 350 received. Alderman Jamey Johnson inquired if many calls were drug related, and Clawson state that there were quite a few.
Colby Benfield gave the public works report, stating that the department is waiting on the backhoe that was purchased at the end of the financial year in June, and that the department is using a loaner at the moment. Benfield added that the department is receiving estimates on a building that would be used to store trucks and equipment. The department is preparing for yearly inspections as well.
The board approved the release of two tax bills, one in the amount of $1,797 for Sue Hardy and another in the amount of $190 for Highland Pro Clean.
In new business, the board adopted a motion in regard to demonstrations, parades and picketing. The board also unanimously approved a motion that adjusted the budget for the COVID-19 grant funds.
Before adjourning, Johnson stated that he would like to receive a quote on a sprinkler system or a fire alarm system for the garage, to which the board was in agreement.
Information from this story is based on draft meeting minutes provided by the Town of Newland.